GLASGOW’S top cop is increasing police patrols on Union Street following a recent rise in crime.

The Glasgow Times reported yesterday how a massive rise in break-ins and robberies have left customers and staff fearing for their safety.

One shop had £40,000 worth of stock stolen in one day while another had to put on extra staff to protect customers.

Thieves have left some businesses on their knees and without stock at a time when they are already struggling to stay afloat.

READ MORE: Union Street business owners tell of huge crime spike

Shop owners also spoke of increased drug dealing and drug use on the street since lockdown began.

Glasgow City Centre Area Commander Chief Inspector Craig Walker said the housing of people in nearby hotels, as well as the easing of lockdown, has led to an increase in footfall in the area.

This has seen a rise in crime across Union Street, an area which traditionally attracts high levels of attention from police.

Glasgow Times: Shopkeepers say some of those congregating outside shopfronts are causing customers botherShopkeepers say some of those congregating outside shopfronts are causing customers bother

Chief Inspector Walker said: "With the move out of Lockdown and the opening up of licensed premises, restaurants etc. there has been a recent increase in footfall within Glasgow City Centre.

“This has resulted in a rise in police incidents overall some of which relate to crimes being committed. The area of Union Street is a particularly busy area with its proximity to Glasgow Central Railway Station and being on a main bus route.

“It is traditionally a street which attracts a high level of attention from local policing to re-assure local businesses/general public and to deter criminal and anti-social behaviour.

“There are premises on Union Street and indeed several across Glasgow City Centre which has been used to house individuals during the on-going Pandemic.

“This has increased footfall in and around these particular areas compared to other areas during this period.

“Initially at the start of Lockdown there was a reduction in demand and calls to police but recently there has been an increase in incidents in the area of Union Street which has coincided with the easing of restrictions.

“I have therefore increased patrols in the area of Union Street and am confident that shopkeepers will be aware and re-assured by the increased police presence.

“I would request, however, that in the first instance any persons requiring the services of Police Scotland utilise 101 for routine calls and 999 if it is an emergency.”